Listmania! Ten Best Educational Shows for Kids » Teeny Manolo

Listmania! Ten Best Educational Shows for Kids

By Glinda

With this list, I am attempting not to use the word “education” too loosely.  Oddly enough, in doing research for this post, I noticed that educational shows have become a bigger trend in the past decade or so. 

Drumroll please…

10. CyberChase

A show that teaches children about discrete mathematics, but in a fun way! Well, if math could ever be described as fun… With the voice talents of Gilbert Gottfried and Christopher Lloyd. This is an actual full episode of the series, which debuted in 2002, and has won several awards, including an Emmy.

9. Between the Lions

This show features a family of lions who run a library. It emphasizes phonics and reading, through both songs and stories. This segment is entitled “Gawain’s Word” which is a take-off on “Wayne’s Word.” And then… well, you’ll see.

8. The Electric Company

Aimed at kids who had “graduated” from Sesame Street, The Electric Company focused primarily on reading and phonetics. Wanna see a Super Fly version of Morgan Freeman? Here’s your chance!

7. 3-2-1 Contact!

3-2-1 Contact! taught scientific principles. And listen, this show is what made education in the 70’s totally awesome. This is a segment where a KISS concert is used to explain the principles of light. Genius.

6. Bill Nye the Science Guy

That wacky Bill made science accessible and non-intimidating. And, he had cool experiments. If you were to watch only one of the YouTubes I have on here, this segment about optical illusions is it. The circles! The boiling clouds!

To see my top five picks…

5. Schoolhouse Rock

I’m cheating a bit, I know. The Schoolhouse Rock segments were not shows in and of themselves. But I could never forgive myself for not including them. Anyone who has ever seen “How a Bill Becomes a Law” has NEVER forgotten it.

4.The Magic School Bus

Miss Frizzle gets her class into all kinds of dicey situations simply to teach them about science! Why couldn’t I have had a teacher like “the Friz?” Who was voiced by Lily Tomlin, by the way. This clip is one where the class gets lost in space. Oh, and cousin Janet makes a rare appearance as the cousin we would all like to slap.

3. Reading Rainbow

Hosted by LeVar Burton of “Roots” and “Star Trek: TNG: fame, this show is all about encouraging children to read. It is one of the most honored children’s television shows, winning 26 Emmys. Enjoy some vintage Run DMC, circa 1986. Word!

2. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

I remember watching this show when I was a child, and the reruns are still airing! That, my friends, is a sign of a good show. Sadly, the pickings were slim for this show, so I just did the opening credits, which ought to be good for a couple of memories. Won’t you be my neighbor?

1. Sesame Street

The grande dame of all educational shows, if you will. 109 Emmys will earn you that type of reputation. Wikipedia estimates that 77 million American children have watched the show, as well as millions more around the world. I leave you with possibly the most awesome song ever featured on Sesame Street. Watch for Kermit!

5 Responses to “Listmania! Ten Best Educational Shows for Kids”

  1. Sonia Says:

    I love the combo of old-school and newer shows.

    We have the entire SchoolHouse Rock collection on DVD and my kids LOVE it. I think one of my boys actually took it to school when they got a class award type thing and could share something. “3….is a magic number”.

    My boys love Bill Nye and Cyber Chase, the girls enjoy Between the Lions. I miss Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact big time. Those were my faves.

  2. raincoaster Says:

    Bill Nye the Science Guy could have me if he played his cards right.

    But I cannot stand The Magic Schoolbus. It seems so syrupy HAPPYHAPPYTIME, especially that driver. I bet she’s a secret drinker.

  3. Eilish Says:

    I have to give kudos to my personal new favorite (as opposed to my classic fav, Sesame Street). The Curious George cartoon on PBS is fantastic! Not only does it feature a troublemaking little monkey that my son just loves, but it seamlessly incorporates math and science concepts for preschoolers (no easy task). It is educational and fun without being obviously so, one of my pet peeves in educational TV. It comes on right after Sesame Street in our area and it’s an amazing lineup.

  4. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    Awww…Mister Rogers. I think he just taught us all to be better human beings. When he said, “I like you just the way you are”, you knew he meant it.

  5. Glinda Says:

    @Eilish- My son really likes Curious George as well, but I felt it was too “new” to be included.

    @raincoaster- OMG! The Magic Schoolbus is one of THE MOST ROCKINEST shows EVAH! I don’t see it as syrupy at all. Barney, yes. Magic School Bus, not even close.

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